Mic Check: What You Need to Know About the Terror Threat Closing U.S. Embassies

1. U.S. Closes 19 Embassies in Response to Terrorism Threat
 
The U.S. State Department has decided to keep 19 embassies in Africa and the Middle East closed through Saturday after learning about a possible terrorist threat; 21 embassies were closed on Sunday. The State Department closed the embassies in response to intercepted messages that suggest an offshoot of Al-Qaeda based in Yemen may be planning an attack. Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.) said the intercepted messages are “very reminiscent of what we saw pre-9/11… This is the most serious threat that I’ve seen in the last several years.”
 
More from around the web:
What you need to know about the terror threat closing U.S. embassies (ThinkProgress).
 
Get to know Al-Qaeda’s remaining leaders (BBC).
 
More from PolicyMic:
The War On Terror is Over, and the Terrorists Won (Eric Tillberg)
 
 
2. Is Iran Headed Towards Reform?
 
Iran swore-in a new president, Hassan Rouhani, on Sunday amid scrutiny over whether the country will become more moderate. Rouhani nominated a U.S.-educated diplomat to his cabinet and said he is open to engaging with the U.S., but also reaffirmed ties with North Korea. Even if Rouhani proves to be a moderate president, his powers will be limited: Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has the final say on all policy decisions.
 
More from around the web:
Will Rouhani’s campaign promises make him an ineffective president? (FP)
 
Find out how much damage Mahmoud Ahmadinejad did to Iran (CS Monitor).
 
More from PolicyMic:
Hassan Rouhani Is Not a Moderate, and Iran Is Still a Theocracy (Firouz Mahvi)
 
10 Quotes From Hassan Rouhani That Should Give Us Hope (Anne Jamison)
 
 
3. Zimbabwe Election Results Spark International Debate
 
Last week’s elections in Zimbabwe have sparked an international debate as western nations express their doubts on the legitimacy of the results. The official results gave 33-year ruler Robert Mugabe 61% of the vote. His party won a 158 of the 210 seats in parliament. The U.S., U.K., and the EU have all voiced concern over the elections, but South African President Jacob Zuma asked Zimbabweans to accept the official results. Zuma’s endorsement carries weight in Zimbabwe: He heads an economic team that works closely with the country.
 
More from around the web:
Find out how bad Robert Mugabe is in three paragraphs (Washington Post).
 
This is how Zimbabweans responded to the election results (Al Jazeera).
 
More from PolicyMic:
Zimbabwe’s Election Results Are a Sham, So What Comes Next? (Max Seunik)
 
 
4. Twitter Changes Abuse Rules in Response to Rape Threats
 
Twitter announced on Saturday it will take steps to crack down on harassment in response to hateful messages aimed at high-profile women. Many of the tweets were directed at Caroline Criado-Perez, a feminist activist who successfully campaigned to put Jane Austen on Britain’s 10 pound notes. She received rape and death threats on Twitter at a rate of nearly one a minute in response to her campaign. Twitter announced it will roll out more exhaustive rules of conduct and introduce an in-tweet button to report abuse.
 
More from around the web:
What should you do if you get a bomb threat on Twitter? (TIME)
 
• How can Twitter make it easier to report hate speech? (Mashable)
 
More from PolicyMic:
Why Trolling is Worse For Feminist Writers (Lauren Rankin)
 
 
5. Obama Administration Overturns Ban On Apple Products
 
The latest chapter in the rivalry between Samsung and Apple unfolded over the weekend when the Obama administration overturned a decision by the U.S. International Trade Commission banning the sale of some Apple products. The ITC ruled older models of the iPad and iPhone violated Samsung patents. The administration said it overturned the ban in order to encourage economic competition, but said Samsung could seek damages from Apple in court.
 
More from around the web:
• Find out how the iPhone 5 stacks up against Samsung’s Galaxy S4 (Versus).
 
More from PolicyMic:
New iPhone Technology Means You Never Have to Charge Your Phone Again (Christian Rice)
 
 
DESSERT
• Find out what it’s like to grow up with futurists for parents (Aeon).
 
• Read the 5 best quotes from one of this year’s best commencement speeches (Salon).
 
• This is what happens when a famous architect designs a McDonald’s (Smithsonian).
 
5 American symphonies every millennial should know (NPR).
 
• Check out these 11 awesome pencil vs. camera images (Mental Floss).
 
 
Thanks for reading!
Nick

Want do you think about the topics in today’s Mic Check? Share your thoughts with me on twitter @nicholascbaker.
 
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